Total Card Omissions About Time-Barred Debt Missouri FDCPA Class Action

Consumer debts that are beyond a certain age are called “stale” or “time-barred” debts. This means that the consumer can no longer be sued for repayment. The complaint for this class action alleges that Total Card, Inc. did not tell consumers of the consequences for making a payment on a time-barred debt, which the complaint says violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Congress passed the FDCPA to try to curtail abuse of consumers by debt collectors, who often tried to mislead or intimidate them. Under the FDCPA, third-party debt collectors must provide consumers with certain information, so that they can make an informed decision about the best course to take.

In this case, plaintiff Clifford Arbee allegedly fell behind on payments for two Aaron’s home furnishings debts. At some point, Total Card seems to have been assigned to collect this debt.

Total Card sent Arbee a number of collection letters, asking that he resolve the debt and offering settlement plans for paying the debt off for less money.

The complaint quotes the letters as saying, “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, MSW Capital, LLC cannot sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, MSW Capital, LLC may report or continue to report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid. Total Card, Inc. cannot sue you on this debt and Total Card, Inc. will not credit report this debt.”

Arbee lives in Missouri, which has a five-year statute of limitations on debt, after which the debt becomes stale.

However, the complaint points out that the letters offered payment plans so that Arbee could “save” money, but they “failed to warn that a partial payment could restart the statute of limitations…” That is, if Arbee had accepted one of these payment plans and paid so much as a single dollar on the debt, it would no longer be time-barred and he could again be sued for it.

Also, the complaint says that “any information about the debt being time-barred was overshadowed and rendered ineffective by the threat to keep credit reporting. Moreover, there are no savings to be had on paying a debt that is unenforceable.”

The omission of the information about payments on time-barred debts “would leave any consumer without enough information for his or her decision-making process about what to do about the debt.” The complaint alleges that the letters from Total Card are therefore false, deceptive, or misleading, and they therefore violate the FDCPA.

The class for this action is all persons similarly situated in Missouri, from whom Total Card tried to collect a defaulted consumer debt, allegedly owed for an Aaron’s/MSW account, via the same form collection letters that Total Card sent to the plaintiff in this case, between April 17, 2019 and the present.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Total Card Omissions About Time-Barred Debt Missouri FDCPA Complaint

April 17, 2020

Consumer debts that are beyond a certain age are called “stale” or “time-barred” debts. This means that the consumer can no longer be sued for repayment. The complaint for this class action alleges that Total Card, Inc. did not tell consumers of the consequences for making a payment on a time-barred debt, which the complaint says violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Total Card Omissions About Time-Barred Debt Missouri FDCPA Complaint

Case Event History

Total Card Omissions About Time-Barred Debt Missouri FDCPA Complaint

April 17, 2020

Consumer debts that are beyond a certain age are called “stale” or “time-barred” debts. This means that the consumer can no longer be sued for repayment. The complaint for this class action alleges that Total Card, Inc. did not tell consumers of the consequences for making a payment on a time-barred debt, which the complaint says violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Total Card Omissions About Time-Barred Debt Missouri FDCPA Complaint
Tags: FDCPA, Misrepresentation or Omission re Time-Barred Debt, Unlawful Debt Collection